Friday, August 11, 2017

Banana bread

We had some bananas that had gone rather ripe for enjoyable eating. This recipe is a great way to use them up. The nuts give it crunch, while the sour cream makes it super moist.

See the link for full details, but here is a quick summary.

Melt 1/2 cup of butter, and mix in 1 cup of sugar then 2 eggs and a tsp of vanilla extract. Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt then stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Finally fold in 1/2 cup each of sour cream and chopped walnuts, and 2 mashed bananas. You should end up with a creamy batter. Pour into a baking tin and bake on 350F for about an hour.

Try to at least let it cool a bit before you scarf it all down.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Chicken jalfrezi

This is a recipe from the "food" website. Never tried it before, but it's definitely one to do again. It uses many of the same ingredients that I use in my regular curry, but in a different order. Most of the spices went in near the end which, I think, brought out a fresher flavor than usual. My only departure from the published recipe was to add some ground almonds at the end to thicken up the sauce.

Fry a chopped onion and garlic until soft. Add the chicken, a pinch of turmeric, and a teaspoon each of salt and chili powder. Fry until browned. Add a good quantity of chopped tomatoes - almost as much by weight as the chicken, and cook covered until the chicken is cooked through. Uncover and continue cooking to reduce the sauce. 5 to 10 minutes before serving, add a teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander, and 2 tablespoons each of grated ginger and chopped fresh coriander.

Monday, June 26, 2017


I won't pretend this is in any way authentic, but we like it :)

Fry a chopped onion - you need a pan that you can cover for this dish. When the onion is soft, add a teaspoon of turmeric, then some rice and a teaspoon of salt. Stir it around then add stock or water. As with my usual rice recipe you want about 1 1/2 times as much water by volume as rice.

Bring to the boil. Add some diced white fish (we use cod fillets) and a cup or two of shrimp. Cover the pan and turn the heat down very low to cook for about 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile, fry either some diced chicken or sliced Hungarian sausage and set to one side. Fry a sliced red pepper, leaving it with some crunch. Stir these in just before serving.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Another filling British dish for the "meat & two veg" brigade :)

This is something we hadn't done for years, thinking the kids would likely turn their noses up at it, but it turned out to be a hit!

Fry a chopped onion until soft. Add ground beef or turkey and cook until browned. Make up a couple of cups of beef stock, laced with good squirts of tomato ketchup and HP sauce and stir into the meat. Leave to simmer until the liquid has reduced to a thick gravy.

Serve with mashed potatoes and assorted veg.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


This recipe follows the general guidelines in my general curry recipe, which you can find here.

In this case, I use onion, garlic, and a generous spoonful of chopped ginger, then my usual range of spices (a small amount of curry paste, dried coriander, curry powder, turmeric, and a generous amount of cumin. Add the meat, either chicken or lamb, then a couple of chopped tomatoes.

The special ingredient is a portion of Balti paste. You can get Balti sauce in jars, but I find it worth looking for the more concentrated paste, which gives a much better flavor. Follow the directions on the jar for quantity.

Stir in the paste, then add a drained can of chick peas, and simmer for about an hour.

Towards the end of cooking, stir in a dash of cream.

Serve with rice and Naan.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Seafood oggies

This is a recipe we plagiarized from a pub near Bristol. An oggie is a kind of pasty, but our version uses puff pastry for a lighter finish than the traditional shortcrust pastry. We also cheat, and buy frozen blocks of pastry. A block of approx. 400g makes 4 individual parcels.

Make a thick Roux sauce (melt butter, stir in and cook flour, then whisk in milk until you reach the desired consistency). Add a spoonful of concentrated chicken stock for flavor. While the sauce is cooking, add what you want in the way of fish and seafood. We usually keep it simple, with some diced cod steaks and peeled shrimp, but you can add things like squid and scallops if you want. You should end up with a thick sauce loaded with fish & seafood.

Cut the pastry into blocks - about 4oz/100g per person - and roll out into rectangles. Brush milk onto the edges of each rectangle, spoon the seafood mix onto one half, and fold the other half over. Use a fork to seal the edges, and brush the top with milk.

Pop into the oven on a baking tray and cook at a medium/high heat until puffed and browned - about 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve with veg or salad.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Spaghetti & meatballs

This is my wife's special meatball recipe ... listen very carefully, I will say this only once ...

Mix together a finely-chopped onion, ground beef or turkey, a teaspoon each of garlic salt, chili powder, Italian seasoning, steak seasoning, and a good tablespoon of cumin. Add an egg, and enough breadcrumbs to mix to a moist but workable consistency.

Form into balls and fry in a little olive oil. When the meatballs are browned, add some tomato pasta sauce and leave to simmer.

Meanwhile bring a pan of salted water up to the boil and cook the pasta. Drain, and serve with the meatballs.

This same mixture also makes amazing burgers, if we ever get a summer this year :(